What makes a house a home is choosing personalized design elements and let’s be honest, it’s also what home shoppers look forward to the most. And while most home buyers approach the process ambitiously, they often exit feeling fried. Why? Because they’re forced to design their home during “bankers’ hours” and physically visit a design center. The pressure to complete selections can be overwhelming.
The online design process begins before the contract is even signed. Today’s most successful builders incorporate online design tools throughout the buyer journey. So how do you wrap your arms around creating an online design experience for your shoppers?
The good news is that builders do not have to be overwhelmed when it comes to finding and deploying a solution. Here are 5 best practices when you’re considering your online design options:
#1 Don’t Wait – Consumers Expect an Online Design Center and Will Spend More When You Have One
If you want a new car, what do you do first? You go online and design and configure it. The same should be true for designing a home even if you haven’t purchased it yet. In today’s virtual world consumers expect to be able to design their dream home online when it’s convenient to them.
And contrary to old school philosophy, giving up control actually leads to the home buyer spending more money. Builders who use the Envision Online Design Center see a 30% increase in options sales.
#2 Use an Online Design Center to Keep Shoppers Engaged During Their Entire Virtual Shopping Journey
One of the main advantages of an online design center is the ability to inspire shoppers and keep them excited from the time they start their home search to post-close. This creates an engaged home shopper who already has ideas as to what their dream home may look like.
It’s also a great selling tool against “used” homes. A used home can’t be personalized (unless you gut and remodel). You inherit someone else’s ideas. If someone is looking at both a used home and a new home, your online design center is a tool no real estate agent can compete with.
#3 Use Your Online Design Center Before the Sale to Generate Leads
Most people think that an online design center only kicks in post-contract. While this is certainly an important part of the experience, giving home shoppers access to online design tools on your website pre-sale has huge advantages. Builders who use the Envision Online Design Center in presales mode see:
- 2x the average time on site
- 10x web page views
- Return visitor rate of 30-40% (avg. is 20%)
- A lead to sale conversion rate of 20-40% (avg. is only 5%)
The bottom line is this – an online design center is your highest converting lead source when used “pre-sale”.
# 4 Content is Key – The Best Online Design Centers use Real Manufacturer Data that is Updated Daily
By leveraging the power of manufacturer brands, you, in turn, boost your brand equity with home shoppers. Plus, the data is updated daily giving them current information and alleviating for you, the burden of having to maintain it. Net/net, shoppers get a realistic experience and you are legally safe with updated information.
# 5 Consider a Range of Options to Get the Job Done
You don’t have to wait months to get a solution in place. Now there is a spectrum of solutions available to help you achieve your goals in a fraction of the time. BDX’s Envision express/lite option can be up and running in 30 days or less. Or you can also deploy a fully customized more robust solution. The choice is yours.
And don't forget to leverage your existing digital content. To learn how, watch our recorded webinar, Top Five Ways to Engage Virtual Shoppers Online.
Ready to get started? Contact BDX at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about Envision, our award-winning online design center solution.
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